For Sale: 2015 Somerset Whyte – Laydie Prototype

My 2015 Somerset Whyte Laydie banjo is for sale.

Built in 2015 as a working prototype, I quickly fell in love with this instrument’s playability. I made it my everyday banjo for the next five years.

The neck of this banjo was shaped similar to an electric guitar, resulting in a light neck that is easy to fret. Coupled with the responsive Whyte Laydie tone ring, this banjo can hold its own in any setting.

As a prototype, this instrument lacks a bit of fit and finish, but that has no impact on playability or tine. It just plays like a dream. The frets up the neck could use a bit of dressing, and some of the bracket hooks are banged up. Wear and tear aside, this is a one of a kind banjo with tone and playability unlike anything else on the market right now.

  • Whyte Laydie tone ring
  • 3-ply maple rim
  • Maple neck
  • 3-band tuners
  • Grooved tension hoop
  • Rosewood fretboard, headstock overlay, and heel cap

Sold as-is. $1500.00 + shipping

Call 443-347-9387 for more information.


Flutter Wheels, by Helen Costello

I gave mom a bunch of watercolor painting supplies for her birthday. She is happily teaching herself to work the new medium in bed with Daisy the dog.

My mother has the right idea.

While we are going through this crisis, the best way to stay safe is to stay home.

To encourage you all to stay home, all of the videos on my YouTube channel and all ten of my books will be freely available and demonetized as we work through these difficult times.

If you would like to support our work or schedule a lesson, visit

If you can’t afford a lesson, just drop me a note. We can work something out.

In other news, Cochlear returned my bilateral BAHA sound processors and they still don’t work. I will fight with the company once life returns to normal, but until then I am back to being deaf. It sucks, but my problems are meaningless in the face of what some families are facing right now.

Make music. Be safe. Be strong. Be kind. We will prevail.

God bless each and every one of you.
-Patrick Costello

Best Thing Since…

bread and tea
Two loaves of white bread rising and a slice of my honey wheat bread drizzled with boiled cider

I ran to the store and the bread was sold out. So I went home and cranked up the oven. Less than an hour later and I have two loves of white rising while I chow down on a slice of honey wheat bread I made yesterday.

I am getting crumbs all over the keyboard as I write this. Homemade bread with boiled cider is now my favorite thing on earth.

All is well in Crisfield. I have been tied up with lessons, working on the new book and that other thing Dear Old Dad doesn’t want me to spill the beans about yet, so we are all safe and happy and keeping busy.

Stay safe, everybody!

God bless,


My first loaf of sourdough honey-wheat bead!
Taking care of sourdough starter is kind of like having a slimy weird pet that poops delicious bread – a fact that makes me wonder why more people don’t bake.

Warm bread shared with two households, and we still have plenty – with starter to make as much as we need.
This is not about food. I am learning a new Way in order to better understand the other paths I follow.
Like I said the other day, I guess this is how an artist heals.

No Net, No Brakes and No Worries

For several weeks now I have been getting around without my bilateral BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aids).

They broke. The sound quality is amazing, but like seemingly everything nowadays they are built with all of the care and quality of a cheap watch.

As an artist, what do you do when the tools not required for the job, but the very tools you depend on, fail you? What do you do when the music you have been drunk on for weeks is taken away abruptly leaving you in hateful near silence all over again? What do you do when it seems there is nothing you can do?

Every individual has different answers to that question. My answer was to keep on creating.

I am not saying this because I think it is a big deal. Other than mentioning the hearing aid problem in the descriptions, I did not want to make a big deal about it. I have always played this way. It sucks, but we all have our crosses to bear.

I am only mentioning the situation because folks are still complimenting my hearing aids, even when I am not wearing them.

I can sing and play the banjo because I work on it every day. I have no talent. I practice when I am hopeful and I practice when I feel hopeless. I do not practice to improve or reach a goal, but because I love the craft even with the limited tools I bring to the table.

You just make the most of whatever you have, and somehow it is always enough.